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Joel Friedlander calls SHIFT HAPPENS’ cover “fantastic!”

I submitted the awesome cover art for SHIFT HAPPENS, designed by Willsin Rowe, Coverage Designs, to marketing guru Joel Friedlander’s monthy cover round-up.

Here’s what I wrote: “Readers tend to expect male/male books to be erotic romance. SHIFT HAPPENS is a more of a paranormal action adventure. To address this, we used illustration rather than photos. The author name and rainbow bar are used across all my books to indicate GBLT themes and my branding.”

Here’s what Joel had to say:

“Fantastic illustration style for an ebook cover, I’d love to see more like this one.”

Awesome right? I know!

But then he added: “I can understand the rainbow is important to your branding, but it’s on the border of intrusive.”

And that surprised me. We’re not talking art here, we’re talking marketing. It’s a sales tool. It’s packaging. The convention for m/m romance is to show two men on the cover, often of the naked-torso variety. Not all, of course. Established authors can move into other designs, but I wanted it easily recognizable. Hence the rainbow.

And when all the books in the series are lined up, each one uses the same sparkly background picked out in a strong colour from the rainbow. I think they look awesome and that it works as a marketing tool. The bright colours and use of illustrations rather than photos makes them stand out among GBLT covers. What do you think?

3 BOO covers

Things to know if you’re self-publishing

How Book Bub works.

Playtime with Amazon’s Search Engine and Selling Prompts by Joel Friedlander. If you’re not already subscribed to Joel’s “The Book Designer” newsletter, you really should be.
And today’s entertaining graphic, here’s a line from my epic (but very short) love story about a vampire and his dentist:
“There’s nothing wrong with him that a little reincarnation won’t fix.

Marketing without Annoyance!

MARKETING MADNESS! For months–years even–I’ve been shoving anything I find about marketing into a folder (3 actually: email, hard copy, downloads). So now I’m reading through it all and making notes of what I need to do to achieve: PROMOTION SANS ANNOYANCE*! (I don’t want to annoy you or me. You’re welcome. 😉 )

So here’s something I came across today. You can download Guy Kawasaki’s book on self publishing (APE) for FREEEEE! from BookBaby today. He’s got a lot of interesting info on selling directly that I hadn’t come across before. Oh, and about 400 nicely laid out pages of other useful stuff.

I also purchased all the RWA 2013 workshops (audio) on self-publishing (you can purchased just that set for US$55.00) so I can listen to them as I get my Fitbit steps in. Today on the way to Weight Watchers (lost another .6 of a pound!) I listened to the first session:

Self-Publishing Roundtable: Marketing Speaker: S.R. Johannes. Is your mind spinning with marketing ideas, but you don’t know where to start? Join marketing pro and best-selling author S.R. Johannes in an interactive roundtable discussion that gets down to specifics.

Joannes has a strong background in marketing, and after 2 years of failing to sell to trad publishing, she spent 6 months bringing her book to market where she quickly rose to best-seller-dom. While listening to her lecture on my iPhone, I switched over to a little productivity ap called Paperless and dictated a few notes to myself. Here’s what I wanted to remember:

Pick your top 3 to 5 target markets. In her case, she’d written a teen thriller involving environmental themes, so she googled the hell out of “green teen” and related terms. For me, say, my B.O.O. series, I’d google m/m-GBLT, shapeshifters, funny. And variations thereof. Then I need to figure out where the people who like funny paranormal books featuring GBLT themes hang out. Go and post–give stuff–worthwhile content, free books, etc. NEVER JUST PUSH YOUR BOOK!

Figure out other authors who write like you. See if they want to do something cooperative, or just write: “If you liked Andrea Speed’s humorous books, you might like mine…” Something.
Set up a blog tour. Never say no. Sometimes blogs with a smaller following have a greater trust factor so are more likely to reach a receptive and engaged audience. Give away a free book on every stop. Create a series of blog posts with topics and offer themes: for example, ask the blog host: “do you want my post on marketing, or the one on Silly infographicGBLT, or my post on Jaguars, etc?

Since marketing is my background, I think I’ll make this a series. Is that a good idea? Yes? No? Something else you’ll tell me in the comments?

And since last week’s lecture I attended on blogging said you must include infographics, here’s the best one ever.

Predators Abound—How Writers Can Be Savvy in Social Media, Marketing and Promotion

Predators Abound—How Writers Can Be Savvy in Social Media, Marketing and Promotion.

Worthwhile advice from Kristan Lamb. Well worth the read.

Actually takes some of the marketing pressure off.


Make Your Own Book Trailer

Make Your Own Book Trailer.

A handy tutorial.

I’ve made a couple. Here’s the one for Gym Dandy:

Dan Brown and I are like this!

Dante in HellDid you see the announcement yesterday? Dan Brown’s next novel is coming out in May and it’s about Dante’s Inferno. 

My Reluctant Reaper series is set and Hell and features Dante, the poet himself, as the love interest of my resourceful heroine, Kirsty d’Arc. The 700-year age difference sometimes causes friction.

In fact, I’ve used all sorts of historical, mythological and original characters in my bizarro version of Hell.

The series debuts in June. (And July. And August. Available for pre-order now.)

This can only work in my favor, right? At least everyone will know who Dante Alighieri is.

Dan Brown to Publish ‘Inferno’ in May
By Jason Boog on January 15, 2013, from Galleycat

Megabestselling author Dan Brown will return with a new novel on May 14th. Inferno will revolve around Dante Alighieri‘s epic poem, InfernoYou can download a free illustrated eBook copy of Inferno.

Like The Lost Symbol and The Da Vinci Code, the book will feature the adventures of Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon.

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group will print four million copies initially.

Brown had this statement in the release: “Although I studied Dante’s Inferno as a student, it wasn’t until recently, while researching in Florence, that I came to appreciate the enduring influence of Dante’s work on the modern world … With this new novel, I am excited to take readers on a journey deep into this mysterious realm…a landscape of codes, symbols, and more than a few secret passageways.”


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